Kingston District Council honoured one of its long-time Kingston residents this week after he received an award for his extensive work as an Amateur Radio International Space Station (ARISS) team member.
Tony Hutchison was recognised at council's Mayoral Civic Ceremony, as he was named in the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours List and awarded the prestigious Member of the Order of Australia.
Mr Hutchison's immediate family, invited friends, elected members and council staff joined Mayor Kay Rasheed at the reception, where they paid tribute to his achievements, with Mayor Rasheed commending the long-time local's years of work during her address.
"Tony has dedicated years of commitment to amateur radio, particularly in amateur satellites and amateur radio space communication and we are delighted to be able to acknowledge these key achievements today," Mayor Rasheed said.
Mr Hutchison developed and installed a telebridge radio ground station years ago, which supported scheduled ham radio communications between astronauts and students, with the station consisting of an amateur radio satellite station along with special equipment and tracking antennas.
To speak with astronauts who have amateur radio licenses, students connect via a Verizon conference line from their school to the telebridge station, and then with the astronaut using ham radio.
The astronauts supporting scheduled ARISS contacts use the ARISS radios on the International Space Station.
Mr Hutchison is highly respected in his field for giving students the opportunity be inspired by science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, as students are able to research further into these topics by talking to an astronaut in space. Mr Hutchison leads all ARISS educational contact initiatives performed in Australia.
Mayor Rasheed finished by explaining why she believed Mr Hutchison's work was rated so highly.
"Mr Hutchison's engaging personality, infectious enthusiasm and outstanding professionalism are highly praised by the many astronauts who have employed him and his station over the years," she said.